Million Iranian march
How about 13 days after Norooz (April 3, 2004)?
By Amil Imani
July 30, 2003
Walter Lippmann in his essay A preface to Morals, said: "The
but his thoughts are beyond the reach of destruction. Men are mortal,
ideas are immortal. Justice William O. Douglas said, " Ideas
are indeed the
most dangerous weapons in the world. Our ideas of freedom are the
powerful political weapons man has ever forged."
Martin Luther King envisioned the very same idea.
His idea about a very
large demonstration came at a time when America was burning with
fever. King said, "We are on a breakthrough...We need a mass
validate our efforts". On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King
Jr., on the
steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., stood tall and
gave his most memorable speech, "I Have a Dream," which
has become one of
the best known public addresses of 20th century America and remains
the great moments of modern oratory. Hundreds of thousands of people
gathered on that day to let the world hear the voice and aspirations
black America for a free and equal America. His idea of a peaceful,
demonstration forever registered him in history books as an idealist
passion for justice, liberty, and freedom for all Americans.
A few decades later, and much similar to King's
version of a mass demonstration, Min. Louis Farrakhan of the Nation
of Islam, mobilized
historic one million African-American men on the mall on the West
the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The purpose of such a huge
and massive "Million Man March" was to advocate for
brotherhood" of black America.
They were asked to pledge " to
clean up their
lives and rebuild their neighborhoods." One person said, "When
comes, people will come together, but after the crisis subsides
they go back
to division." Another witness said, "Our problem was
not coming together
but in staying together. What the Million Man March has done is
The foundation of these marches on Washington goes
back to a 1941 initiative
by A. Philip Randolph, a labor activist and civil rights pioneer. "Randolph
had organized the original March on Washington Movement, which
to pressure President Roosevelt to guarantee jobs for black men
and women in
the wartime armament industries. The 1941 march was canceled at
moment when Roosevelt capitulated to the demands and issued the
executive order protecting African-American rights since the Emancipation
In all these massive marches and movements, the
struggle for freedom and
justice and liberty, in a peaceful manner, distinguished these
men in their
time. It is their passion and struggle for the love of equality
made them icons in the eyes of millions of people around the
world. It was
the doctrine of love and nonviolence and their commitment to
forms of prejudices, injustices, and crimes committed against
propelled these men to arise and lead the fight for the freedom.
My fellow freedom loving compatriots abroad, our
fellow Iranian brothers and
sisters in Iran are struggling, at this very moment, for their
basic human rights. They are held in the same manner that the
black-America was being held hostage, in a land where they were
born and labored.
and liberty are what should excite and inspire us to do the right
The recent mass demonstration on July 9, 2003 (18
Tir) in support of freedom
movements in most cities in Iran and in more than ninety-five
countries worldwide, showed that Iranians are capable of such universal,
gatherings and organizations and thirsty to liberate their country.
showed us that we are still at the beginning of our learning
coming together and uniting our forces.
We, Iranians, are known
ourselves for being individualists who lack the spirit of teamwork.
instances this characteristic may work to our advantage, but
in the case of
obliterating the rein of terror in our homeland, it strongly
backfires against us. It will be impossible to eradicate the
seeds of evil
land, without a united force of all segments of Iranians.
compatriots, we need to learn to work together now. We need to
advance this process quickly and reach to the next phase of
our destiny. We
must strive, seek, and struggle to achieve what always seemed
unachievable, and with great emotional intensity and love for our
seemed undoable. We need to gather our strength together and
lean on each
other's shoulders, all the way across the ocean, in order to
become a beacon
of unity and oneness.
The first step towards our unity is to
skepticism and open our hearts to one another in this noble
act of freeing
our fellow countrymen from the hands of those who are merciless,
without the slightest passion or compassion for their fellow
We must not allow our bitterness towards one group,
one segment, or one
party to cloud our mission of liberating our country. " Freedom
not by the enjoyment of what is desired but by controlling desire
itself." Let us not allow revenge to become our guiding light in pursuing
mission, but fill our hearts with love and sincerity and sensibility
certain that we don't repeat history. "Nothing is little to
him that feels
it with his great sensibility."
My fellow freedom loving Iranians, the time to rise
to the occasion is NOW.
It is now that can make a difference. It is now that we must
and make our marks in the history books. It is now that we must
together as massive force to show the world that Iranians were
of civilization and we would like to take our torch back since
we started it
some 2500 years ago. The time to excel and forge our strength
So, my dear Iranians across the world and especially
those who reside in
North America, I would like to make a motion. I would like to
proposal for a One Million Iranian Men and Women and Children
March to be
held in the same manner and on the same spot where Martin Luther
his historical speech. The demonstrators can gather both at the
Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. We can set the stage for entertainment
our vocalists to sing our patriotic songs and our national anthem.
close to two million Iranians who live in the North America and
this massive demonstration is feasible and conducive to our cause.
The cause of such massive demonstration and participation
will be in support
of freedom and liberty for our countrymen in Iran. It will be
Iranian UNITY that we have always craved. It will be for all
of conscience who are being held and tortured by the Islamic
loving their country. It will be for thousands of innocent Iranians
at the hands of the villains and for the hundreds upon hundreds
of other reasons.
At the venue, we will declare these statements and
1- Our continual support for Liberty and Justice
for all Iranians
2- Our unconditional support for Iranian Freedom
support of the unconditional Freedom of all the Political Prisoners
4- Freedom of Speech and Conscience
5- Freedom of the press and public media
6- Equal Rights regardless of gender
7- Freedom of Religion
8- Separation of State and Religion
9- Condemnation of Islamic punishment, stoning to
death and execution in
10- Complete banning of any interference in an individual's
under any pretext
11- Condemnation of the Islamic Republic for the suppression of
and the compulsory wearing of the "Hejab."
this proposal receives the anticipated attention, we will need
volunteers and organizers and substantial financial help to proceed
this once in a lifetime chance for lovers of Iran and Iranians
together in the spirit of brotherhood. Logistically, we can work
together. I await your responses and your comments. The designated
this occasion, in my opinion, should be at the 13 days after Norooz,
(April 3, 2004), when traditionally, all Iranians go out of
homes in a
celebration of the new year. This date can be changed and discussed
ourselves since there is still time left to plan.
At King's memorable speech, "a young black man in a white shirt
and tie wrote
on his sign 'There Would Be More of Us Here But So Many of
Us Are in Jail,
Freedom Now'." Yes, so many of our young and old compatriots
time in the notorious Evin prison without being able to speak for
themselves. I believe a march is the least we can do, as Iranians,
support them. Never underestimate the power the masses.
Over half the people who have begun to mobilize for the march
demonstrated nor protested before. I am confident that WE can
do this. We
can do this together, if we put our hearts into it, and send
waves right into the hearts of the Ayatollahs of the Islamic
Together we can cause them to realize our everlasting commitment
justice, and freedom for all Iranians.
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